Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Epitaphs Magazine issue #2 is DONE and SENT! And thank goodness for that. This issue was driving me bonkers! Don't get me wrong, it's a great issue. The thing was, it was like it had the curse of the Black Pearl on it. But all delays aside, it's out and I'm sure you'll be pleased with it.

In this issue you'll get to meet our designer, Kristine. I think you'll agree she does exceptional work. You'll also see some familiar writers, some new ones and a couple of photographers named Jeffrey.

As for issue #3, work has already begun on its production. Even though #2 was late by a few weeks, we are still going to release the May issue on time. Then we'll have the August issue. But I'm not going to make any special promises about the November issue, as my baby is due Oct. 11! I'll do what I can. :-)

Which brings me to something interesting. If you've visted TheCemeteryClub.com lately (and our steady visits say people have), you may have noticed that I posted that I will be selling some funerary items on eBay soon. It's funny, ever since I found out I was pregnant, I've had the desire to get rid of many of my funeral home collectibles. And I haven't been diving into cemetery literature like I usually do. It must be a maternal instinct to keep even the notion of death away from my child even before the baby is born. It, of course, also doesn't hurt to earn a little bit of cash for when the baby comes. My biggest concern, aside from my chld, is that these items go to good homes. My original plan was that if I kept these items as a collection that I would eventually (many, many years down the road) will them to the Museum of Funeral Customs in Springfield, Ill. These special items tend to be tossed out like so many other promotional items that people think of as cheap plastic crap or what have you until decades later when they have an interest again. My main concern now is that they find good homes. If you are a collector and are interested in some of my items and would like to make an offer off of eBay, I would be willing to talk, too. I'm always up for a fair deal.

By the way, this is a totally different subject but also very important. In the current issue of the International Cemetery and Funeral Association's magazine has a book review of "Cemetery Walk" and also mentions the magazine! It's a favorable review, and I hope it inspires a lot of interest in the book, mag and Web site. I've already had one survey filled out from an ICFA member. Super sweet!

I hope all is well in your parts of the world. I feel like I'm getting back in the swing of life as the baby hormones start balancing out. As of tomorrow, I'll officially 11 weeks along.

Happy cemetery haunting,


Monday, March 13, 2006

We're having a baby! Wow and holy cow!

A few weeks ago, my husband Bill and I found out we are having a baby. This is our very first. I'm 33. It has been a life-rocking experience so far. I've gone from "Oh my gosh this is so exciting! We've wanted this for more than a year!" to "Oh...my...gosh...this is freaking me out." It seems like all people talk about is how wonderful and what a blessing it is, yet they forget to tell you the part where you get totally freaked out about it.

Don't get me wrong, it IS a blessing and we are thrilled. It's a very strange kind of thrilled, though. And let me tell you why.

Bill and I tried for a year or so then decided to just forget about it. Within two months, surprise! No wonder I felt so yucky. No wonder I couldn't concentrate on anything. Mind you, I was finishing the second issue of Epitaphs Magazine at the time and also working on my book proposal for my project on post-Katrina New Orleans cemeteries. I got the magazine off to the printer (then experienced problems with it I'm STILL dealing with) and got all of the proposal written except for the 2 sample chapters. But I couldn't concentrate. I was so frustrated. And this was before we knew officially I was pregnant. When I figured out what was probably going on, it was only a couple days before we bought a test. On Feb. 13 the test was positive. Talk about not being able to concentrate! It was freaky!

Ever since then, my mind is still not on track--and those of you who know me know that my mind has lots of tracks. Well, that's changing, I'm sure. And my big plans for 2006 are changing as well.

First, I've been "threatened" by both my husband and my mother about even thinking about going to New Orleans. Between the yuck that may still be down there--especially in the cemeteries--and the heat, my estimated couple of trips are now postponed. As for the status of the book, I'm not sure how that will go. I've lined up a lovely photographer, Jeff (whose work is in the upcoming issue of Epitaphs), to do photos for me if the book is still a go. Of course, I can make no promises to anyone or even myself about such big projects as that for quite a while.

Second, I was so very excited about becoming a celebrant. I was going to sign up for training this September. I'm due Oct. 11. So much for celebrant training!

As far as Epitaphs Magazine goes, all will continue as planned. I'll be starting on the third issue soon, once I get the second issue mailed. This week, I hope hope hope. I know people are frustrated that it hasn't arrived yet. I'm with you on that one.

So, anyway, if any of you cemetery fans are reading this, you have just received a little peek into my world right now. Aside from a lot of nausea, I am doing well. On Wednesday I will be 10 weeks along. Today Bill and I went to the OB for the first time. She also found the baby's heartbeat! It was really amazing. Just think, a new little taphophile will be joining the world soon!

As you can guess, this blog will have a lot to do with baby stuff for a while. But I'm going to still keep it geared toward my regular stuff as well. It's all entwined. I'm looking forward to nice weather so I can get out into some cemeteries again. I think a good dose of gravestones will help me finish my book proposal or at least figure out where the future of my writing is going to take me. I'm not giving up on the New Orleans cemeteries, though. It just may take me longer than I originally planned to write the book. As you know, New Orleans is ALWAYS calling to me.

All the best and happy cemetery haunting,

Minda and the munchkin